Yesterday was especially exciting for me for a variety of reasons. It was my first Sunday back, post concussion, that I actually got to teach/preach. It was also the first week of our new series. I definitely felt like I was knocking the rust off after being out for so long and it was also the first time I’ve preached without notes (other than the list of verses that I was referencing). I’ve thought about flying without notes/transcript before and decided to experiment with that idea for this series.
Here is a quick overview of the content:
I introduced the idea of waiting for something with great anticipation. My illustration was waiting 9 months for both of my sons to be born and how I excited I was but felt like it was taking so long to get there.
I gave the students 60 seconds to share among themselves something they were waiting for, or recently had waited for, that they were excited to happen. Most of the responses were school related: spring break, graduation, summer break, SAT scores, pay day (for the few that have jobs), etc.
I shared with the students how the Israelites waited for 400 years in captivity in Egypt waiting for their promised deliverer, Moses. And then went on to say that there was another 1400 years from Moses to Jesus, God’s promised and Chose One to deliver the world from sin. And that for 1400 years God’s people were waiting desperately for Him to come, even though they didn’t recognize Him when He finally arrived. I also through in a quick definition of the word, “Messiah.”
I AM THE MESSIAH
To help introduce our series I let the students know that Jesus asked His disciples a very foundation but critical question, “Who do you say that I am?” and it’s recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke. In our attempt to answer that question for ourselves, we are going to look at 9 “I AM” statements that Jesus made throughout the Gospel of John.
We turned to John 4 and I walked them through the story of the Woman at the Well, focusing on the 3 statements made that show who Jesus is.
John 4:9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.[a] She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
She recognizes Jesus is Jewish.
John 4:19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet.”
She realizes Jesus is a Prophet.
John 4:26 Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!”[a]
Jesus reveals to hear that He is the Messiah!
I circled back to the original question Jesus posed to His disciples in Matthew, Mark and Luke sharing that Peter had confessed Jesus was the Messiah. But this morning the most important answer in the room was who they would say that Jesus is.
Non-believers: I shared the thought from C. S. Lewis that there are only 3 possible answers to that question: Lord, liar or lunatic. I shared the GOSPEL allowing students who hadn’t believed in Jesus as the Messiah to respond to what they had been waiting and longing for in their souls, maybe without realizing it, that what they were waiting for was the love and forgiveness of God.
Believers: My big challenge to our believing students is while we are believers and long for Heaven, there is a life that God wants us to live and mission and purpose we can fulfill because He desires for us to have life and life to the fullest. The reality may be that God is waiting, with great expectations, for them to realize He has something more than us just waiting around for Heaven and gave them the opportunity during the invitation to ponder and respond to the life that God wants them to live now.